Ashwagandha, the Royal Herb of Ayurvedic Medicine, Can Be Used in Treatment of Anxiety and Much Much More
Ashwaganda is a medicinal plant found in Asia and Africa. Many phytochemicals have been extracted from Ashwagandha.
The literal meaning of the word “Ashwagandha” is “smell of horse” for two reasons. One reason is that the fresh roots of the herb emit the smell of horse. The second reason a belief that a person consuming extracts of the ashwagandha herb may develop the strength and vitality similar to that of a horse
Ashwagandha is the most commonly used and extensively studied adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that improve an individual’s ability to cope with stress.
Ashwagandha has a central and prominent place in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional system of medicine in India). Ashwagandha is a “royal herb” because of its rejuvenative effects on the human body.
Ashwagandha is a multipurpose herb that acts on various systems of the human body: the nervous system, the immune system, the endocrinal system and the reproductive system.
Ashwagandha has also been studied as antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), antidepressant, cardioprotective, thyroid modulating, immunomodulating, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, cognitive enhancing, hematopoietic agent, anti-hyperglycemic, neuropharmacological, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, musculotropic, hepatoprotective, radiosensitizing, chemoprotective, anti-aging, macrophage-activating, diuretic, cholesterol reducing, aphrodisiac and rejuvenating agent.
Ashwagandha root powder is used at dosages of 300 mg to 2 grams, Capsule and tea formulations doses are 1 to 6 grams daily. Tincture dose is 2-4 mL by mouth three times daily.
Ashwagandha side effects
Nasal congestion (rhinitis), constipation, cough and cold, drowsiness and decreased appetite were seen in people who take 300 mg Ashwagandha root extract 116). An analysis of the adverse events recorded in this study 117) indicates that high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract is safe and well tolerated as there were no serious adverse events. The side effects that were observed were mostly mild in nature and no known causal mechanisms relate them to the study drug. Insignificant changes in laboratory values were observed in both the groups. The results on safety in this study are consistent with previous studies on Ashwagandha, where generally there were no adverse events leading to drop outs or withdrawal symptoms 118). Long-term administration of the roots of Ashwagandha was found to be safe also in animal studies 119). A word of caution, however, those allergic to herbs belonging to the Solanaceae family are contraindicated for treatment with Ashwagandha.
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